B2B is a segment that needs constant experimentation: every sales cycle is different. Because of this, content marketing for B2B companies requires customizing according to their target audience.
It helps B2B marketers achieve their goals but most of these companies break on their strategies: they are not planning and are not producing effective content. Thus, their marketers have to know that the segment needs more stories that engage with users.
In this blog post, we will talk about suitable content for each step of the sales funnel, which elements are important for a content marketing strategy, 6 types of content marketing for B2B companies, and some successful examples. Check it out!
Content to turn a prospect into a customer at each step of the sales funnel
At the top of the funnel, your target audience starts their finding: they have a problem and are looking for some resolution. Here, the leads represent quantity, not quality.
Social sharing is the most common action done, so, you can provide them content that performs: videos, guides, and podcasts, for example. The content trends in 2021 for lead-generation and social sharing are infographics, white papers, lookbooks, and quizzes.
The focus of the middle part of the buyer’s journey is to increase the dialogue, get qualified insights, and enable the buyer’s desire for self-discovery.
Usually, the middle and bottom stages of the buyer’s journey have a stronger need for more specific content. Through this step, you can produce ebooks, webinars, and white papers, which include relevant information about your product or service.
Inbound generation, sales enablement, and lead qualification are actions from the bottom of the funnel: the last stage of the buyer’s journey is nearing the sale when the buyer enters final consideration and the decision-making part. This stage includes case studies, comparisons, reviews, and demos.
3 tips to improve your B2B content marketing
When you think about B2B content marketing, you must remember the value of being a professional. Try to work with these tips:
- if you keep your content simple, it could be understood more easily — thus, you have to be friendly and connect with your audience through storytelling;
- you can diversify your efforts, varying your blog posts with other types of content: guest posts, infographics, webinars, videos, etc — these B2B strategies will surely increase your results and make you get a higher return on your investment (ROI);
- you must know who your buyer personas are, so, you must map their preferences, main characteristics, and habits to offer really relevant content to their searches and main pains.
6 types of content marketing for B2B companies
Check out below some of the most usual formats in content marketing strategies, representing effectiveness linked to interactivity.
When you want to illustrate potential and quantifiable outcomes, calculators are the best interactive experience. They can provide compelling and hard evidence that builds trust for the critical nurture period between attention and action.
Calculators can also be used in the late-stage, to tackle tough tasks like calculating ROI, TCO (total cost of ownership), and pricing.
Buyers gain useful tools that make their discovery clear and sales and marketing obtain invaluable data from buyer participation, which could increase the next experiences. This tool is the key to closing in on a decision.
2. White papers
White papers are useful at all three stages of the buyer’s journey. Early on, they engage people: leadership establishes brand awareness. It is highly effective at measuring interest in specific content as well as producing high conversion rates for lead generation and social sharing.
They have powerful visual aids to catch the lead’s attention. Early in the journey, they provide visually-driven products or concepts with an engaging, simple canvas. They can also result in strong social sharing and lead-gen performance.
Quizzes are addictive little buckets of fun that can generate leads and social shares at pretty amazing rates. People like to compete to win recognition almost as much as they like to compete for more tangible prizes.
When you have to promote engagement in a useful dialogue, it is time to establish interactive assessments, an efficient key to the middle stages of the journey. It is strategically designed to identify pains and opportunities while providing genuine value and recommendations to buyers.
Ebooks are a long and deep tool to help you increase marketing results. It is especially effective at lead generation, building a strong email marketing list, but it can also be used to strengthen your brand and gain customers’ trust.
3 B2B companies that are achieving success with content marketing
1. John Deere
John Deere has been using B2B content marketing for 100 years and started with their magazine, “The Furrow”, that helped farmers to know about the latest technology advancements and solutions to solve their problems.
In Autodesk’s blog, a company that focuses on engineering software and 3D printing, they constantly publish about construction, architecture, infrastructure, and manufacturing.
Their website has won the Digiday, Webbies, and Content Marketing awards, always telling amazing stories that prospects want to read.
Etsy is an online marketplace for vintage and handmade goods. They used to publish relevant content on their blog with incredible results to brand awareness: they have a huge presence on Pinterest, with 994,000 followers.
Etsy is using social media strategies and visuals on Instagram to promote its stores: they have 1.7 million followers on the network.
Why we are telling that B2B marketers must know that this segment needs to develop more stories and engage with users?
In 1996, Bill Gates wrote an article that became very well-known: “Content is King” made him one of the richest men in the world. He understood how content transforms and now we have tools to achieve marketing results and reach effective goals.
Interactive experiences scale your content, differentiate your brand, engage your audience, and deliver measurable results. With interactive content, you will deliver useful content experiences that propel your buyer deeper in the funnel, while gaining meaningful buyer insights to pass downstream to marketing automation, CRM, and sales teams.
Would you like to get to know ION’s evaluation tools to leverage your content marketing for B2B companies’ results in 2021?